Ottawa Divorce .com Forums


User CP

New posts

Advertising

  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Introductions

Introductions If you're new to the forums, drop by and introduce yourself.

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 01:46 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 90
canadamama is an unknown quantity at this point
Default New, worried, confused...(v.long)

I just signed up to this forum yesterday and I have been reading a lot, but haven't found anyone in my situation, apart from one woman who hasn't been on the forum for a few years.


I recently separated from my husband (December). We were together for 20 years, of which 4 years were cohabiting and 16 years were married. We have two daughters, aged 13 and 9. I am not going to get into the details of the unhappy relationship we had, because all of that has become blessedly irrelevant, now that we are divorcing. Now it's all down to sorting out what our obligations are to one another, meeting those obligations, and getting on with life. I am of the opinion that there were elements of emotional abuse in the relationship, but so is he so in my view, I am more likely to get to a place of peace and happiness much faster if I just let it go and move on.


In our marriage, while I did work occasionally, my role was primarily wife and mother, while he developed a successful career. We spent the past 7 years in the Middle East; I came back with our daughters and he has remained there, with the intention to move to Australia in the spring. He currently earns 100K tax-free, and his housing expenses, including utilities, are covered by his employer. I am looking for work here in Ontario and am expecting to find a job in the mid-30s range - if I can crack 40K I will be very pleased. I have been actively searching for work; I have sent out many resumes, have had three interviews so far and have a fourth scheduled for early next week. He is currently sending money every two weeks which is adequate to cover our current needs. We have an informal agreement (although it is recorded in our emails and chats) in which we both agreed to a set amount out of each pay that I am entitled to take form our joint account, and he has not missed any payments.


In terms of his access to the kids, I manage the time in the mornings before school so that they can talk to him on Skype. I remind them to get online and encourage them to talk to him, although our older daughter has expressed reluctance to do so from the start, and does not really get on to talk to him unless she has to. I have asked her about this reluctance, but she just says she's busy. On weekends, I remind them to turn on their Skype (they each have their own netbook) and make sure they are available to talk to him. I do not believe we have ever missed an appointment to chat. He has missed a couple, and when he does, I send him an email to let him know that we were there and available. I have kept him informed about any issues regarding the girls; for instance, yesterday I updated him on a meeting I had had with our older daughter's teacher, and when their report cards come I will scan them and send them to him.


So far, so good.


The problem that is arising has to do with his access and visitation when he comes to visit the girls. The reason that I left, in the end, was because I found child pornography videos on his computer about a year ago. He confessed to me at that time that he had searched for it when depressed, and had even consumed it a few times, but that he wasn't attracted to children, and would never be a danger to our own children. The last ten months of our marriage were incredibly difficult for me, as I was trying to resolve the cognitive dissonance between this man I wanted to love, and wanted to trust with our daughters, and the video I had found of a 13-year-old girl who was essentially being raped. Eventually I realized that I would never feel like the girls were safe with him, and I left, taking them with me (with his written permission, which I needed in order to travel home again).


Now the thing is, I understand that our daughters have a right to have a relationship with their father, and I WANT them to have that. They do love him, and his absence from their lives would be a source of grief and loss, not relief. He has been a capable and loving father, and I want him to come here so that they can hug their dad and see him in person, and reconnect with the bond they share with him. He is an important part of their lives; they love him very much, and that is as it should be.


BUT... I am extremely uncomfortable with him taking them out overnight, or for a week or longer. I am afraid for them. I want our kids to have time with their dad - they need it - but I NEED to know they are safe. I really feel like just ignoring the fact that I now know my ex was consuming child porn is extremely irresponsible.


I have tried talking about it but his position has shifted to "prove it." (He thinks I can't, but I believe I can) He is saying he wants 'joint custody' - I have no idea how that would even work if he is in Australia, but for me that is beside the point. If this one aspect of the situation were removed, I would have been happy for us to work out a plan where the girls spend the maximum amount of time with him when he is available to visit them here, but I can't shake this feeling that I can't just ignore this issue. He, however, is refusing to budge, and wants to take them for a week or more at a time when he comes to visit - no restrictions, no supervision, no compromise.


I am aware that possession of child pornography is a crime that can be prosecuted within Canada even if it is committed abroad, and that by not reporting him I myself am breaking the law. I am also aware of the bomb it would set off in our kids' lives if I did report this - he is still my children's father, and I really don't want him to go to jail.


The other thing that has arisen is that he is now saying he will reduce payments on his child and spousal support if I don't give him joint custody. I know they aren't connected, but at the moment I am not working and it is a scary threat for me. I have sent him an email explaining that the two issues do not depend on one another - it is not a quid pro quo arrangement, and that he can't renege on his support obligations over access issues any more than I can withhold access over non-payment of support, but I have not heard back from him.


I have thought about calling the CAS for help and advice, as this is a child protection issue, but that feels like it might be a Pandora's box - a call I can't UNmake once it is made.


I feel incredibly alone and confused, and I really do want to act in the best interests of our daughters. I have no desire to remove him from their lives - I just want them to be safe.

  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 01:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,448
Mess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the rough
Default

I'm attracted to adult women, as are most men on this forum. I also enjoy looking at adult women in porn from time to time. When my daughter reaches adulthood she will be perfectly safe to continue living with me if she chooses, and to otherwise visit me for overnights and spend as much time with me as we please. The fact that she is a woman will not mean I can't keep from raping her.

You are right to be shocked and appalled that you porn involving a 13 year old on his computer. This type of material is illegal and for good reason. However you are continuing along a slippery slope, demonizing him for things he hasn't done and which you have no evidence that he would ever do.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:17 PM
blinkandimgone's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lucknow
Posts: 5,175
blinkandimgone has a spectacular aura aboutblinkandimgone has a spectacular aura aboutblinkandimgone has a spectacular aura about
Default

Disagreed, Mess, in a big way. Adults are deemed to be mature and responsible with an understanding of how and where to get themselves help or some measures to protect themselves should such an event occur, children do not, especially if the threat or potential threat comes from someone in a position of trust such as a parent. That's our job as parents to protect them, even if it's painful to do so.

The outcome of taking no action to protect the children now will be far worse for everyone if/when something does happen.

What I don't understand is why there is a perception of everything being safe as long as he does not take the children overnight or for a week or longer. I have never seen it documented that sexual abuse of a child can only occur overnight or during extended visits. It takes only a single moment to traumatize a child and change their life forever.

I also can't fathom in the slightest how any parent would even consider letting their children be involved with someone who knowingly has a sexual interest in children, whether it's a teacher, sports coach, friend, family member or parent.

You should be calling CAS and if you have proof of it, the police as well. If you aren't for some reason capable of doing that, at the very lease call anonymously and hear what they say, find out the risks for your children and decide if you're willing to take those risks just so you don't have to be the one to rock the boat.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:25 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 90
canadamama is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Hi, Mess, and thank you for your quick response.

I am unclear how it is that I am 'demonizing' him. I have said that he is a loving and capable father, that his children love him, and that I want to support him having a real and meaningful relationship with them.

I agree that an appetite for run-of-the-mill adult porn has no bearing on his relationship with the girls, or their safety while in his care, but it sounds to me like your position is that an appetite for child pornography is equally irrelevant. Is this correct?

Also, I see a world of difference between the vulnerability of a minor child and that of a grown woman. A grown woman is responsible for setting and protecting her own boundaries, and for keeping herself safe, she also has the power to leave if she becomes uncomfortable, which a child may not be able to do.

If I am misrepresenting your intended message please clarify for me.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:32 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 90
canadamama is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Hi Blink,

I see your point, and believe me I have agonized over this for months. I don't KNOW what to do. I am trying SO HARD to do exactly the opposite of what Mess accused me of - demonizing him unfairly to the detriment of our children, who really would be incredibly sad to lose their relaxed and natural relationship with their dad. I feel like I have to choose between hurt A, which is certain (dramatically interfering with that relationship) or hurt B, which is unproven, merely a threat, but unthinkable if it were to actually happen.

I am trying desperately to find the road that will give the girls everything they need, which OF COURSE includes both their right to a loving relationship with their dad, as well as their right to be safe.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:45 PM
blinkandimgone's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lucknow
Posts: 5,175
blinkandimgone has a spectacular aura aboutblinkandimgone has a spectacular aura aboutblinkandimgone has a spectacular aura about
Default

I do understand what Mess is trying to point out about it being an unknown however, it really isn't. There is no law against making, watching, having or distributing porn involving consenting adults. There is laws against all of those things involving children because a child CANNOT consent.

Your ex has already crossed the line in making the choices he did, there is no unknown. Regardless of what his excuses are for why he chose to get involved in it, he chose to. I think you know what to do, you're just finding it difficult which would be normal, however it's your job to do the right thing for the kids.

Would you be questioning it at all if he wasn't their father? If it was the father of one of their friends or a complete stranger? Remove your personal connection and re-evaluate the situation and then decide if you would expose your children to it.
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:46 PM
dadtotheend's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,644
dadtotheend will become famous soon enoughdadtotheend will become famous soon enough
Default

You are demonstrating a remarkable amount of maturity for a first time poster. That you will not get into the mostly irrelevant emotional issues between the two of you and your focus on remaining civil on the issues, particularly the access and your efforts to support yourself, is highly commendable.

Surely you have had conversations with your daughters about inappropriate touching by adults in the past. I think you need to find away to empower their own judgement and to safeguard them from inappropriate behaviour - in the most delicate manner possible, without referring specifically to Dad, but ensuring they know that inappropriate behaviour can, and often does, come from adults that are known and close to them. Not an easy thing to do. On the other hand, you can't guard your kids all the time that they are with him.

I think you might benefit from some professional assistance in this matter. A good therapist can probably give you the toolbox to educate the kids to safeguard themselves against inappropriate behviour. But again you will have to tread extremely carefully knowing that professionals are legally obligated to report to the CAS when they are advised of situations where children are put at risk. I agree that the CAS is a Pandora's box and that you don't want them involved in your lives.

All that said, the children's father has not, as far as you know, done anything inappropriate to your kids. In my view the discovery of child pornography on his computer is very troubling, and while it does not constitute an offence where your children are the victims, it does present a risk that requires a protective response. I feel very sorry for how conflicted and troubled you must be with this issue.

If there is a silver lining in this story, it is that Dad plans to live across the planet from the children. (How a parent can make that kind of decision is way beyond me, but that is another conversation entirely). Even if he lives there for a few years, your kids will have matured very significantly in that time, which itself should ease your anxiety as they will be that much more able to protect themselves from threats that may or may not exit.

Regarding joint custody, surely you know that custody is only about decision making. He seems agreeable to primary residence with you. I don't see why you should be concerned about him retaining joint custody. Your primary concern is about the children being protected. And they will be when he is so far away.

Last edited by dadtotheend; 02-12-2011 at 03:10 PM.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 03:21 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,448
Mess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the rough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
Disagreed, Mess, in a big way. Adults are deemed to be mature and responsible with an understanding of how and where to get themselves help or some measures to protect themselves should such an event occur, children do not, especially if the threat or potential threat comes from someone in a position of trust such as a parent. That's our job as parents to protect them, even if it's painful to do so.
We can protect children from getting hit by cars without locking them 24/7 in a house. This OP is suggesting keeping the children away from the father completely. In no way in my post did I suggest to ignore the situation, but I don't agree with condeming someone for something they haven't done.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 03:26 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 90
canadamama is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Mess, please quote where I am "suggesting keeping the children away from the father completely."
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 03:38 PM
dadtotheend's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,644
dadtotheend will become famous soon enoughdadtotheend will become famous soon enough
Default

In statistics, Risk= Probability X Consequence.

Probability is the liklihood of an event occuring.

Consequence is the measure of the effect of an outcome.

I think Mess is saying that he hasn't done anything and so the probability is too low to merit protective action.

But that ignores the consequences of abuse. No one can disagree that in cases of child abuse, they are astronomical.

So while the probability may be low Mess, the consequences are so high that there is still a resulting risk that needs to be addressed. That doesn't necessarily mean denying the childen access to their father, but it does mean that attention needs to paid to the matter.

Canadamama (nice handle BTW) would never forgive herself if something happened, however unlikely, and she knew ahead of time of a pre-disposition to children but didn't address the risk.

Last edited by dadtotheend; 02-12-2011 at 03:44 PM.
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Very confused ~Default hearing supar3 Financial Issues 3 11-25-2010 11:34 AM
Worried copping Introductions 4 04-23-2010 01:48 PM
I really need some advice. Worried. billiechic Parenting Issues 8 02-02-2010 09:58 PM
Confused and need help !! sloane Divorce & Family Law 8 07-11-2006 03:28 PM
worried about kids scareddaddy Divorce Support 4 03-17-2006 05:46 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:49 PM.